Planning 1st AH bowhunting trip... advice?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Africa' started by Best, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Best

    Best New Member

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    Gents,

    I was just about to book another backcountry elk hunting trip in the United States when my wife asked me "why don't you try bow hunting in Africa instead?" I guess that I never thought it possible, but after a little research I have found that it is getting popular and now I can't stop thinking about it. So, I have changed my plans for this year and would like to head to Africa for a 10-day trip for plains game.

    My questions to all of you would be 1) What country offers the best game numbers and is the most friendly for bowhunters? I have been looking closely at Namibia, but after spending a few hours on this forum I se many other possibilities. 2) Has anyone hunted with Vieranis in Namibia? If so, could you tell me about their concession, experience and set-up? I am just looking for references. Seem like good people but I have been fooled by nice websites before so always like to ask around. Any other suggestions are welcome. I'm looking for a hard week of hunting and not a cushy vacation hunt. Should I be looking at "bowhunting only" safaris, or do the outfitters usually separate rifle areas from bow hunting areas?

    Thanks in advance,
    BB
     
  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH

    Either South Africa or Namibia are top picks for a 1st safari. Expect to do plenty of blind hunting over water holes. Spot and stalk may be an option but by far the most animals are killed from a blind over there.

    There is no reason to restrict yourself to a bow hunting only outfitter, you will do well no matter where you choose to hunt as long as you choose a good outfitter. Use the hunting reports section of the forum to research outfitters. There are so many good outfits on here and they will all give you a great hunt, bowhunting is very popular in Africa.

    Expect a cushy vacation hunt where you hunt as hard as you want. It is hard to find a non-cushy outfit, by North American standards. As a rule they start out cushy and progress up to outlandish luxury.

    Good luck on your hunt.

    P.S. I like the way your wife thinks!!! ;)
     
  3. hunting

    hunting AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Brian i did send you a pm.
    Johan
     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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  5. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    I think a lot of outfitters are catching on though. Read several times now that archery hunting in SA is becoming very popular.
     
  6. SA Hunting Outfitters

    SA Hunting Outfitters AH Senior Member

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    welcome to AH

    whether you decide on SA or Namibia, my advice is constant.
    most of your hunting will be done out of a blind, depending on the outfitter you go with and the concession you hunt, these will either be an elevated blind built on stilts, or a pit blind, and it will be over water... you will have the best success if you book over the driest time of the year, june july is my advice. i own and run a hunting outfit and am an avid hunter with bow and rifle alike.... PLEASE DO ME THE HUGEST FAVOR and bring your rifle along as well, a walk in the african bush is both exciting and unpredictable, if you spend your entire safari cooped up in a bow blind, you will miss sooo many of the sounds and smells and sights of the african bushveld. i saw by your profile that you are a rifle hunter as well as bow hunter. please just trust me on this you will not regret it, when i do my own personal hunts i ALWAYS divide my days up between rifle and bow. instead of sitting in camp during the hottest part of the day, after a morning of rifle hunting i will take a nap with my bow at a waterhole in a blind and wait for some warthog to come and wallow in the cool mud....
     
  7. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Dear Best,

    PM sent...I think I know exactly what you are looking for and I have some suggestions for your research...
     
  8. Hagar

    Hagar AH Senior Member

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    BB,
    It will be a life changing experience. Most outfitters are excellent and will take very good care of you. Get references and ask questions. By the way does your wife have a sister?
     
  9. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    BB,

    I'm strictly a bowhunter and I would suggest you look at South Africa, Namibia and Botswana for a first time bowhunt. Time of year and rain is a lot more important to bowhunters than rifle. I would stick with July onward into October to make sure the areas are dry.

    As for the "hard week", you are going to have a problem there. All of the africa operators I know and work with want the client to be treated very well. If you want to have some sand sprinkled in your coffee, rocks under your mattress and generally try to "beat you up" on stalks we can do that but I think you will find the relaxation and "treated like a king" environment can be pretty nice as well.

    As for bowhunting...it's nice to go to an outfit that has certain areas that are bow only. The animals are much more relaxed and your opportunity for spot and stalk really goes up. At the same time, bowhunting near waterholes can be very enjoyable due to the sheer numbers of game spotted.

    I am the opposite of the poster above, I wouldn't take a rifle at all. If you select the right outfitter you should get all of your trophies with bow and more! IF you wanted to use a rifle as well, almost all outfits will have a rifle in camp that can be used.

    I have bowhunted africa a fair number of times and would be happy to discuss any and all questions with you.
     
  10. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I very much agree with Tom here.

    I also would advice you to book minimum 10 hunting days and use most of your time on spot and stalk hunting if you want to hunt hard :)
    In fact it would be much harder to sit in a blind all days every day for me as I find it totally mind numbing to sit still for many hours...

    I am going this year on a bow hunt in South Africa myself and I have booked 12 hunting days and will use almost all the time on spot and stalk hunting with my bow.
    To me hunting is all about the challenge and not about the trophy size even if I wouldn't mind to get some good trophies as a bonus :)
     
  11. jpomazi

    jpomazi AH Member

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    BB, I would echo what Tom is suggesting. Some good advice for sure. I have been to RSA twice and Namibia once on archery only safaris. Although many operations are catering to bow hunters I personally would stick to archery only concessions. They are different. The animals are definitely less pressured. We went to a concession in Namibia to hunt red hartebeest and mountain zebra for a couple days that was mostly rifle hunted and it was a change. My point is I know this from first hand experience not just believing what others have claimed. I think I would of been fairly disappointed if I had been there trying to archery hunt the whole time. If you go with a reputable bow only operation you should have a great opportunity to take all of the animals on your wish list. Blinds are how most people go but I have seen guys who can't stand it and walk and stalk exclusively. A big challenge with often longer shots but doable. If it is not important to you to get all your animals with archery gear then by all means go with an outfitter that does both. As posted earlier I would borrow one of their rifles and avoid taking your own if it's going to be a secondary thing. Lastly a couple areas of caution. Number 1. It's not going to be rough. You are going to be pampered so be prepared. Number 2. Your not hunting Africa just once. As soon as you return from this trip you'll be planning for #2. Ask anybody!
     
  12. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    Ive bowhunted with bow only and mixed use outfitters. Im not saying it has to be bow only but you will want to know if the waterholes are rifle hunted, etc. specific bow areas within a mixed use property is great.
     
  13. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH BB! South Africa or Namibia are both great places. William AKA Iamyourhuckleberry is a pro staffer with PSE Bows and did a bow hunt with the same outfit I hunt with Huntershill Safaris in the beautiful Heuningklip Valley of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is your premier hunting safari destination some I think were over water hole but most was spot and stalk he took a lot of great trophies including a spot and stalk Bushbuck that place number 7 for SCI with a bow. Good luck with your planning Your going to love Africa.
     
  14. Best

    Best New Member

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    Thanks again gentlemen. I have talked to enough outfitters over the past week to understand that I am going to have to throw sand and gravel in my own coffee if I want to "rough it". Everyone seems very professional and well organized. What is interesting to me is how the trophy fees change from one outfitter to the next even in the same area. I don't know the economics of the business yet, but I assume that outfitters are using each others concessions and thus sharing the trophy fees. In other words, if an outfitter has a concession rich oryx but lacking kudu, he might have a high trophy fee for kudu but a low fee for oryx b/c he has to use another concession for the kudu? I'm just guessing and I really have no clue how it works. I just find it interesting that one outfitter will charge $1200 for a kudu trophy while another one not that far away will charge $2000. How negotiable are the trophy fees in Africa? When was hunting Ibex in Kyrgistan we came across a few really nice Morco Polo sheep and I negotiated the trophy fee for my Marco Polo down from $25k to $10k all while I had the ram fixed in my sight. However, it seems to me that Kyrgistan is no where close to being as organize at South Africa in terms of hunting (or most everything else for that matter). I generally agree on the bow only idea, however what is more important to me is that the PH understands bowhunting.
     
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Kyrgyzstan is not RSA for sure.
    I think there is a little more room on $25,000 sheep than on a $2000 Kudu trophy fee.
    They do not raise the sheep they just shoot them.
    They do not pay taxes or maintain the mountains they hunt!


    Some outfits have a huge property in Africa and may indeed have all the game and manage it all themselves.
    It is a costly venture to keep all that gravel out of your coffee! (I guarantee you had gravel and snow in your coffee in Kyrgyzstan.)

    Price on species. Some species are harder to raise and others breed like rats.
    Raising Nyala or purchasing from auction? Changes the price for sure.
    Native to the area or not changes the price.

    PH's will not likely be able to negotiate the prices unless they are also the outfitter.
    You can always ask in the moment, just be ready to hear no.

    You have keyed on a basic underlying issue.
    How do you determine value for money?

    Good luck.
     
  16. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    Good day sir.
    I have been bowhunting for the past 28 years in Africa and 22 of them as a Professional Hunter that specializes in bow hunting.
    You are welcome to e-mail me for any advice on species and equipment as well as good Outfitters that are specialists in bow hunting.
    Regards
     
  17. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Best welcome to the AH family many knowledgable guys on here, from my side only one suggestion.

    Make sure that you are not sold into this semi guided nonsense which seems to have become a trend, any hunt even a bow hunt should be 100% fully guided.... SA and Namibia would be good options, contact references, do research as much as you can and above all enjoy it!

    Have a great hunt,

    My best always.
     
  18. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    +1 For Jaco

    And please remember that a quality hunts can never be cheap as ships it takes a large investment to run a good outfit.

    Best Regards
    Louis van Bergen
     

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